This month, there is a bill making its way through our legislation that provides long-term infrastructure for mental health in Indiana. Senate Bill 1, Behavioral Health Matters, is a great bill in theory, and I am proud to say it has bipartisan support.
However, fellow Hoosiers, we must ensure that this bill has the sustainable funding it needs. We can do this by urging our legislators to support a $1 tax on cellphones, a concept that is already used to fund crisis response lines such as 911.
If we pass this bill without funding, it will only succeed in making our lawmakers look good on paper. The burden of financial responsibility will fall on the most vulnerable: those suffering from mental illness. Imagine a single mother experiencing a crisis who is committed to a health care facility. While she would be getting the help she needs, she (and her children) would be paying for it out of pocket. As a citizen of Indiana, I would like to know that my $1 per month goes directly to that mom who should not have to pay out of pocket for potentially lifesaving mental health care. Health care, like food and shelter, is a human right.
That is why the cell phone tax is the best way to fully fund mental health care. It’s our money, it should come back to us. Please call your legislators and urge them to support the cell phone tax to fully fund mental health care across the state of Indiana.
Ketki Tamhankar, Fishers